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What gifts from America do Europeans enjoy the most?
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harpospeaking



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 194
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:01 am    Post subject: What gifts from America do Europeans enjoy the most? Reply with quote

In addition to traveling to London, I'm going to visit some French friends who live in the countryside near Clemont Ferrard. I usually bring Japanese gifts (since I'm half Japanese) since they're beautiful and compact. I was wondering, however, what quintissentially American products (besides iPods!) do Europeans like to receive from their American friends? Are there any American foodstuffs that they like but have a hard time finding in Europe?
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VictoriaLH



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 87
Location: Madison WI

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I travel I bring things such as refrigerator magnets with a picture of where I am from. There is a very funny one of Madison I brought last time I was in Italy that evoked many smiles, as it was a prank from my college days that some friends of mine pulled on the entire campus. They covered one of the hills with 1008 pink flamingoes early one morning. It was masterminded by then Student Gov't president Jim Mallon who went on to MST3K fame. It was fun to tell my Italian friends the history of "Mille Flamingi" Here is a link with the pic on the magnet.:
http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/museum/artifacts/archives/001660.asp
I had my flamingo for many years until it was stolen.

I also brought small leaf shaped bottles of Wisconsin maple syrup, something the Italians really didn't know much about. I always try to bring a regional specialty or piece of history with me.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is hilarious!
My husband worked in Sitka, Alaska for a while, where there also lived a very eccentric millionare. This man would string trees along the water with flamingos among other pranks. Whenever a new guy came to Phil's boat they would make sure he saw the flamingos and watch the look on his face. There are some gulliable people out there.
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pimpille



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 12
Location: St Drézéry, Languedoc Roussillon, France

PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 2:32 pm    Post subject: mes suggestions Reply with quote

chocolate chips, doughnuts, bagels, heinz sauces and salty chocolate macademian nuts. That's what my friends bring me from the states. I hope I have helped you.
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sian gamble



Joined: 10 Nov 2005
Posts: 4
Location: United Kingdon

PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: mes suggestions Reply with quote

Hello
I dont have much experience here and it really depends upon what your friends are into and where they live. I would love anything that is typically American perhaps Dean & Deluca stuff. In England we do get alot of products from other countries in the supermarkets etc so go for things that are more unusal and remember we Brits have a sweet tooth!!!
Oh and Elvis anything is always a laugh. Might pass on the fridge magnet though. For practiacl jokes you might go shooting and look out to bag a haggis
Sian x
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MissPrism



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:39 pm    Post subject: Nice American things Reply with quote

On my trips home to Britain, I bring:

* Dagoba chocolate - in interesting flavours, like lavender or lime - which I think is the nicest American brand (happy to hear other suggestions!)

* Beef jerky, or even better, buffalo jerky

* Apple butter

* Chilli jelly

* Root beer (warning from experience: cans explode on aeroplanes!) or root beer / wintergreen flavoured sweets

* Sauces, packets and spice mixes, like Chesapeake seafood seasoning, ten bean stew or gumbo mix (of course, check the ingredients, as many aren't made of real food).

* Lindt peanut butter truffles, which I've not seen in Europe, despite Lindt being a Swiss company. Reese's peanut butter cups are more classic, but I don't like them.

* Maple syrup candy, or, for cooks, pure maple sugar / maple extract.

* Decent bourbon or microbrewery beer. Brits in particular will be pleasantly surprised to find out there are American beers beyond Bud Lite, and American beers are unlike any you can get in the UK.

Sadly, a lot of the nicest things (artisan cheeses, meats, pies, cakes) don't travel or store well...
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once upon a time there was quite a bit of discussion on where to find some very basic (to us North Americans) cooking ingredients in Paris. For the life of me I can't remember where that topic was.

Cream cheese might have been one of the items discussed. Was brown sugar another? I do remember that both clotilde and her friend Pascale have written about trying to approximate deli-style cheese cake with Parisian ingredients so a killer cheese cake might be something to consider. ...if transporting one were possible, that is.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, I think that thread was " American foods in Paris" in the Paris and France forum.
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MissPrism



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:17 pm    Post subject: foods we miss Reply with quote

It's funny, though - the foods I miss as an expat are very different from the foods I'd recommend to a foreigner.
I get misty-eyed about Irn Bru, Crunchie bars and chip butties, but I doubt they taste particularly good to someone who wasn't brought up on them...
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kohuether



Joined: 07 Sep 2005
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things that I hardly noticed in the markets when I lived in Germany that could be a fun novelty gift:

Hershey's products (But, European chocolate is so yummy, I am not sure how they'd respond to American chocolate, which isn't as rich and has added wax)
Marshmallow puffs and marshmallow fluff
Peanut butter is hard to find and expensive
Maple Syrup- I did find syrup, but it was from Canada and pricey

A word about baking supplies- Brown sugar is a whole different thing in the two cultures. In Europe, it is more like that "sugar in the raw" stuff. Brown sugar here is granulated sugar that has added mollases. You absolutely can't find it.

In Germany especially it is hard to find other countries' beer. It is nearly impossible, for example, to find Belgian beer in Bavaria. So, giving a gift of other people's beer (microbrews, canadian beer) would be a nice thing. (BTW if you do live in the Munich area and want some Belgian beer, let me know and I will tell you the name of this great place that actually carries beers from all over the world).

American junkfood. It's icky to me, but there was this one German who was exposed to Doritos and wanted us to get them for him everytime we went on the American millitary base.
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anna



Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 45
Location: north carolina, usa

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its funny, whenever people think of american food, they think of icky junkfood... what about a nice selection of items that represent the best of local foods from your region of the states in particular, all prepared by locals or local companies? that would giv ethem a real taste of where you are from!
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kohuether



Joined: 07 Sep 2005
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anna-

I agree with you. Think of the local specialties. Being from New England I'd give a gift of some new england clam chowder and maple syrup. If I were from Ohio, I'd probably give some buckeyes. A good old fashioned apple pie makes a nice gift too. I made some apple crisp and chocolate chip cookies for a work party (when my husband worked in Germany) and those were big hits.

The U.S. is rich in food specialties. Smile
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Leo



Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..but there was this one German who was exposed to Doritos..

Exposed to Doritos.. made me laugh. Sounded like being exposed to a disease Smile

It probably depends on where in Europe you are going. We usually take alcohol. Canadian whisky and liqueurs are popular with the relatives. Ice wine is a nice novelty but I think not really to their taste. My friend took back some maple schnapps to his Oma (grandmother!) in the Netherlands!

My Aussie friends love maple syrup and smoked salmon. Beware, the fish has to be commercially packaged or else it will get confiscated. Unfortunately, nearly all of those yummy "nice items that don't travel well" are also illegal to bring into Austraila and New Zealand. The rules are strict and, to many people's misfortune, enforced with hefty fines.

If anyone is coming to NZ.. I have my own wish list Wink
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anna



Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 45
Location: north carolina, usa

PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ohhhhhhh buckeyes...
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Elizagard



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 31
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:11 pm    Post subject: cookies Reply with quote

Most Europeans I know do not like American chocolate or peanut butter so I'd probably avoid those. However, chocolate chip cookies seem to be popular. I had one friend visiting from Europe and finding a donut shop was the only thing he wanted to know. He'd live in San Diego in college and says the donuts in Europe are terrible. I'm not sure how well Crispy Cremes would survive a flight. A couple of the French people I know were not thrilled about American wines but that could be just them. I'd probably go with an interesting variation of the cookies.
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